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What's Your Payment Processing Resolutions for 2018?
01/01/18 TSYS

Before you make any plans for 2018, review the payments landscape to see what's expected to look different, stay the same, or become hot enough that you consider getting on board. It's that time of year to think about making New Year's resolutions- not just for yourself, but for your business as well. Here's a few things to consider if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

Can you say instant gratification?
Amazon understands consumers' need for immediate gratification, delivering virtually anything faster than ever.  No longer content to wait, the world has become an on-demand society, and businesses from retail to restaurants must step up and deliver.  Look for "order ahead" purchasing, location tracking of shipments and deliveries, and a surge in at-home restaurant dining and food delivery. If you're a restaurant or in the food service industry, consider these components when planning for the New Year.

The need for speed
Because every second counts, friction in all forms - physical and virtual -- must be reduced or eliminated. Look for a variety of ways to move customers through checkout quickly and easily.

- Biometrics: Fingerprint scanning is already a popular tool to unlock phones, check on checking accounts or approve a payment. The payment industry is exploring biometrics in all forms, and consumers can soon expect to be using iris scans, voice-recognition and even DNA verification for frictionless checkout.

- So long Signatures: Effective April 2018, Mastercard will no longer require a signature at the point-of-sale. By the end of the year, consumers may rarely, if ever, be asked for their John Hancock.

- Checkout is checking out: Once again, Amazon leads the way with its "Just Walk Out" shopping experience," that skips the checkout line completely. Walmart is following suit with their"Scan and Go" app for smartphone users.  Both services use apps to eliminate the checkout line.  What's next?  A combination of computer vision, sensors and technologies that detect when a shopper removes an item from a shelf, charges the item to a specified account and sends a mobile receipt that customers show as they exit the store with their purchases.

Gone global? Small businesses are looking ahead
In the last decade, businesses of all sizes have come to understand that a physical location is not enough; websites, shopping sites and social media have expanded the customer base to every corner of the globe.  Now, small business merchants need to realize the time may be just right to make a real leap into Omni commerce and international markets.  According to McKinsey&Company, it is estimated that some 940 million cross-border shoppers are expected to spend $1 trillion on eCommerce transactions as soon as 2020.  This explosion in cross-border trade will create new sales opportunities for businesses of all sizes.  To capitalize, merchants must deal with a handful of new issues this opportunity brings, including currency conversion, international bank routing, and the high-cost of wire transfers.  ClearPay Financial Solutions is working hard to solve these payment pain points quickly.  Turn to us for new solutions with ProPay,® a TSYS company, that will ease the complicated process of transacting and settling in multiple currencies, and help expand your customer base to virtually every corner of the globe.

Cash is losing its luster
By making digital payments faster, simpler and more secure, and by offering a variety of ways to pay, we eliminate the need for customers to carry cash.  And the benefits are enormous.  In a recent VISA® study entitled, "Cashless Cities:  Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments," Visa estimates that cities, businesses and consumers stand to realize an annual net gain of $470 billion for every 100 cities that become cashless.  Visa says that businesses will benefit from reduced theft and pilferage; shortened float times; labor time savings; convenient inventory and expense tracking; and easy access to data that can improve customer service and loyalty.  Consumers, according to Visa, will enjoy savings from float, from the avoidance of late payment fees and from reduced crime, in addition to time savings.

Customers will ALWAYS matter most
Cash may not be king, but the customer certainly is.  Payments innovators are focused on making it faster, simpler and safer for customers to purchase our goods and services.  Businesses that prioritize the customer experience will be the ones that maximize sales - for 2018 and beyond.  This year, customers have shown us that they respond positively to rewards programs.  Keeping these customers happy will mean coupons, deals and promotions that attract their interest and entice buying.

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